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Stuck in Logo Limbo
November 16, 2010 9:51 AM   Subscribe

How Low Can Your Logo? "We are testing your capacity to willingly create that which you spend your entire life trying not to create: the worst logo ever." Read the brief or jump straight to the gallery.
posted by spiderskull (47 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Winner
posted by Mister_A at 9:54 AM on November 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


Winner

No kidding. Yeah, the Microsoft-made logos are just lazy. Anyone can hack together a crap design with Comic Sans and Word clip art.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:01 AM on November 16, 2010


With respect to the porpoise double rainbow logo. I assume that by "worst logo ever" they mean awesomest logo ever.
posted by found missing at 10:01 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


But the puppy is adorable...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:02 AM on November 16, 2010


Needs more bevels and swooshes.

Also, less serifs.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:04 AM on November 16, 2010


And of course, the red ring of quality that is goatse makes two appearances.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:04 AM on November 16, 2010


Winner

Yup. Anything that manages to say "Enron" and "National Socialism" in the same icon is, well, special indeed....

On the other hand, this has the double virtue of being ugly and unreadable.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:04 AM on November 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


The ones that manage to look like they were made by people trying to make a good logo win. It's easy to make a craptastic Comic Sans one, but to give that extra "I'm really trying!" feel... that's unique.
posted by spiderskull at 10:08 AM on November 16, 2010 [15 favorites]


Some of those kids have better ways of expressing the Internet than some adults. I'm impressed. The brain of the Earth is an amazing way to describe it.
posted by antgly at 10:11 AM on November 16, 2010


I like this one. Not only is it hideous, it's got that special Will Not Reproduce on a Copier quality so beloved by the kind of cutting edge corporations who sponsor things and then send you a Word file of their logo to incorporate into all your promotional materials.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:12 AM on November 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


The ones that manage to look like they were made by people trying to make a good logo win. It's easy to make a craptastic Comic Sans one, but to give that extra "I'm really trying!" feel... that's unique.

Yes, absolutely this. The wavy comic sans? Yeah, I can't think of anyone who would actually have that as a serious logo, which makes it unfunny. Although, the ones mocking the GAP logo redesign? I admit they make me chuckle.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:12 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm glad everyone can have a laugh at this. Go ahead... yuck it up.

I want you to realize, there's a number of us who have worked in the local media sector (local newspapers, televisions stations, etc.) who have had to use stuff that looked like this.

Just picture working your ass off, spending three straight days and nights in InDesign and Illustrator, kerning 50+ individual letter pairs because you're that hopped up on caffeine/nicotine, giving the proof to your GM, only to have him smile and say "Looks good. _____ from ________ will be sending you their logo. I sold them a last minute sponsorship."

You get something some dipshit pizza shop owner made in PowerPoint or Corel or on a napkin, in rasterized 300 x 250 to put on the same stock as your masterpiece.

And trust me, those people are looking at this gallery thinking "ooh, how'd they make it so upbeat?!"
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 10:17 AM on November 16, 2010 [21 favorites]


I have to agree with the winner selection. Though a lot of them were "bad" some of them were "bad" bad, others more subtle. What's with the use of the global images? Do graphic artists get a lot of requests for that?

The winner though, is the one that almost made me spit out my coffee. From a design standpoint, isn't a bad logo at all. But you'd have to be teatard-tone deaf to approve it.
posted by Xoebe at 10:18 AM on November 16, 2010


This one is just crude and absolutely not funny at all.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:29 AM on November 16, 2010


OK, the Nazi Enron one wins. But among the also rans, I like the one with the crow, the mountains, and the sultry-looking woman.
posted by gurple at 10:30 AM on November 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


You get something some dipshit pizza shop owner made in PowerPoint or Corel or on a napkin, in rasterized 300 x 250 to put on the same stock as your masterpiece.

Oh, I feel you. I usually just remake them, if it's not too much trouble. Even if the logo looks terrible you can still clean it up and perhaps minimize the visual damage by making it all-white or all-black.

I figure if I've put enough effort in to making a document look good it's worth it, and it's doing the client a favour (if they're clueless enough to have a totally shite logo they won't notice that you re-did it anyways).
posted by jimmythefish at 10:32 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mister_A's winner's web site would win this contest entirely on its own.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:35 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


This one is just crude and absolutely not funny at all.

True, but if th dog were crapping the rainbow it would have been a different story.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:40 AM on November 16, 2010


Everyone knows the key is to Make the Logo Bigger.
posted by blaneyphoto at 10:41 AM on November 16, 2010


Can I externally nominate this one?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:43 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The logos that misspelled the client's name: I could never tell whether the designers were inadvertently sloppy or if that was part of their joke, and that ruined the rest of the gag. Even when it was intentional, it's just too easy a joke.

The most entertaining entries tended to be the well-polished ones that toed all the marks and failed for non-obvious reasons. The ones that I could envision actually being presented - by a designer who loathed the client - or who realized for the first time, moments before presentation, that from across the room the icon looks like a cock.
posted by ardgedee at 10:51 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, this has the double virtue of being ugly and unreadable.

... and also somehow conveying that it has something to do with women's health.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:55 AM on November 16, 2010 [14 favorites]


Not sure I saw any jigsaw puzzle design elements. Those are always very effective.
posted by punkfloyd at 10:55 AM on November 16, 2010


... and also somehow conveying that it has something to do with women's health.

That's stunning.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:59 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


That reminds me of some band.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:20 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


My favs are the ones with three interlocking gears that can't actually turn in the real world. It's a great way to say "This company is going nowhere."
posted by cccorlew at 11:33 AM on November 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


This is seriously depressing. I'm having flashbacks to the place I worked a couple of years ago....Oh, man. Clients coming in and expecting a fully-featured, from-the-ground-up, unique, non-template-based ecommerce site complete with logo design for one or two hundred bucks. "What do you mean, logo design is extra? Can't you just come up with it as you work on the site? What do you mean, you charge by the hour? Our products are imported, so can you make a Flash animation of a plane flying across the page? [People were always requesting this, it wasn't just one person!] I want a logo with a swoosh. No, swooshier. No, never mind, I'll get my friend to do it for me. What you mean you're going to charge me for the time you already spent? No, of course I didn't READ the contract. I want to use an Olde English font in the logo. No, bigger. No, fancier. And I want it to be red white and blue. Just make the site look however you want, I don't have any color or layout preferences. No, I don't like that, start over. I want a picture of a running stick figure man in the logo. Make some speed lines to show that he's running. No, more lines. No, too many lines. Here, I made a logo in Publisher, you can use that, right? What do you mean, you're charging me for all this? I SAID I didn't read the contract. Here, I printed out this page from a stock photo site and scanned it and emailed a PDF of the scanned page to you, can you make it look like this? [NOT MAKING THIS UP. THIS CLIENT WAS A LAWYER.] Here's a site I found that's perfect, it's exactly what I want, make it just like this. What do you mean, tables with alternating rainbow colors are ugly?"

If anybody needs me I'll be over here curled up in the fetal position.
posted by Gator at 11:45 AM on November 16, 2010 [25 favorites]


This is seriously depressing. I'm having flashbacks to the place I worked a couple of years ago....Oh, man. Clients coming in and expecting a fully-featured, from-the-ground-up, unique, non-template-based ecommerce site complete with logo design for one or two hundred bucks. "What do you mean, logo design is extra? Can't you just come up with it as you work on the site? What do you mean, you charge by the hour?

If I did have a working time machine, the first thing I would do is go back four days and tell myself to read the warning on the hair removal cream packaging where it recommends not using on sensitive areas.

I would then travel several months back to warn myself against agreeing to do copious amounts of design work for an old man wielding the business plan equivalent of a retarded child poking itself in the eye with a spoon, before finally traveling back to 1982 and explaining to myself the long term photographic repercussions of going to the hairdresser and asking for a haircut exactly like Simon LeBon's the day before a large family gathering.

posted by Sebmojo at 12:11 PM on November 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


That reminds me of some band.

Wow. I had never seen that before. I was always kinda like, "Okay, good musicians, but not my thing." Now, though, just... what is that logo supposed to convey? Whatever it is Dave Matthews doesn't have it.
posted by cmoj at 12:37 PM on November 16, 2010


These logos just don't 'pop'. I need something with more wow-factor. That's the type of specific, constructive feedback you wanted, right?
posted by bhamrick at 12:52 PM on November 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


After ricochet biscuit's comment I just had to look up my local women's health agency logo. Swooshy abstract ladies abound. Heh.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:57 PM on November 16, 2010


These logos just don't 'pop'.

Oh, sweet Jesus. Yeah. I heard that yesterday for the first time in ages.

*head pops*
posted by brundlefly at 1:13 PM on November 16, 2010


After ricochet biscuit's comment I just had to look up my local women's health agency logo. Swooshy abstract ladies abound. Heh.

And frequently in groups of three, for some design reason that passeth understanding. If you describe a group of three women to me, my mind will run through Macbeth, maiden-mother-crone, Norns, Furies, Fates, Sylvia Plath, Robert Altman, and about eighteen other things before it gets to lady-parts doctors.

Countess Elena brought this to our attention in a fine FPP from a couple of months back.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:47 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm curious, aside from "Yes this is perfect you're a genius it's everything we wanted and more," what is the proper type of feedback to give to a graphic designer?
posted by Navelgazer at 2:05 PM on November 16, 2010


This one really gets my goat. se
posted by usonian at 2:17 PM on November 16, 2010


To all the quote unquote talented individuals who have submitted thus far: Don't quit your day jobs.

From the Twitter feed. Ah, an additional soupçon of How This Works in Real Life.
posted by Gator at 2:31 PM on November 16, 2010


Oh man. There is a page of my sketch book that I should probably burn. The thought process went something like this:

Client: Non-profit getting middle school kids interested in nuclear engineering careers.

Nuclear engineering. Atoms are cool, but revolving electrons are dumb and inaccurate. What about the idea of one electron ring? And a kid reach up to the ring? Oh, and maybe an adult is helping the kid reach for the ring... OH MY GOD GOATSE.

Yep. There were a dozen or so incremental sketches, eventually evolving into goatse.

So kids, accidental goatse can happen to anyone, even you.
posted by fontophilic at 2:46 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


what is the proper type of feedback to give to a graphic designer?

Specifics are really nice (i.e. change fonts from sans to serif, use more/less whitespace here), but even descriptions of the mood or direction you want to take shape is really helpful.

Basically don't make your designer think you want a cartoon bubble that says "BLAMMO!"
posted by bhamrick at 3:12 PM on November 16, 2010


I have a couple of entries.
posted by swift at 3:31 PM on November 16, 2010


Specifics are really nice (i.e. change fonts from sans to serif, use more/less whitespace here), but even descriptions of the mood or direction you want to take shape is really helpful.

Yeah, and if you really are completely helpless, don't know what "serif fonts" or "whitespace" are, and can't be specific about what you want, the proper response is, "YES, I'll be HAPPY to pay you by the hour to go back and make changes until it looks the way I want it to look." I'm getting heartburn remembering that one freak who complained when we billed him for the SIX HOURS he kept me on the phone "brainstorming" over his stupid little insurance scam site. (Always include a "consultation" clause in your contracts!)
posted by Gator at 3:33 PM on November 16, 2010


Navelgazer,

If a designer is competent, you'll be pretty sure of what your logo will look like after the designer writes a creative brief and has you alter it or sign off on it. This is where, literally speaking, you both need to be on the same page. If they can't come to the same page, either because the client is an indecisive idiot who isn't ready for this, or the designer is unwilling to listen/ be the client's therapist, this is a good time to part ways.

A good designer shouldn't let some porous brained marcom spewing idiot write the creative brief like the one on lowlogo. It should be based on distinct visual themes, colors, stylistic choices etc. The choices that go into the creative brief might be informed by marketing babble but eventually they need to come to something approaching physical reality, not "simple and yet detailed, complex yet spare" or based on unspecific emotions or onomatopoeic words: "pop" "zazz". Designers are creative but they aren't capable of breaking the laws of physics, nor did they sit next to Harry Potter in Transmogrification 101.

If you have constructive suggestions then by all means tell the designer what you're thinking. Also be open to the idea that designer may want to explain to you why he/she made those choices and why in his/her professional opinion they are good choices for you.

If by the time a designer hands you a logo (or other product) and alternates, and you really hate all of them, and they don't match the creative brief you approved, you probably should tell them that you're going pay them for their time already spent and you'll find a new designer.

Thats why the logo that I'd submit to this contest would be for an Italian pizza place. I just got the name and didn't bother to read the brief. Whee!
posted by fontophilic at 3:34 PM on November 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Always stipulate the number of rounds of revision included in your bid, if you are doing the design job at an agreed price rather than working hourly.
posted by Mister_A at 6:58 PM on November 16, 2010


The logos with the most votes are disappointing. The current winning entry is the dog taking a crap, leading me to believe that most of the voters don't understand the point of the contest.

Even the Nazi Enron logo is more about lol10yearoldreferences than capturing the magical essence of bad design.
posted by dgaicun at 7:47 PM on November 16, 2010


Have you ever tried to drop a simple cricket or baseball catch on purpose without making it looked like you dropped it on purpose? Difficult.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:01 PM on November 16, 2010


Does completely phoning it in count as terrible? Because it should.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:05 PM on November 16, 2010


I went ahead and did the pizza place logo. </shamelessplug>
posted by fontophilic at 2:42 PM on November 17, 2010


Just submitted mine.

http://tinyurl.com/36uznjq

Logo description:

"In a compromise between public outcry and money spent on rebranding, Excellencico proudly unveils this amalgam of the old and the new."
posted by unigolyn at 12:41 AM on November 18, 2010


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